Candidates for SC Governor face off in debate in Florence

Smith (left) is challenging McMaster in the race for Governor. (Source: SCETV)
Smith (left) is challenging McMaster in the race for Governor. (Source: SCETV)
Updated: Oct. 17, 2018 at 11:12 PM EDT
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FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) - The two candidates for South Carolina Governor faced off in a debate at Francis Marion University’s Performing Arts Center Wednesday night.

Current Governor Henry McMaster and his challenger, democratic nominee James Smith debated several issues at the debate.

One was guns. McMaster stated he is pro-second amendment.

When you start intruding on the 2nd Amendment, that is when you get into deep trouble that’s happened in other countries," McMaster said. “We don’t want it to happen here. We have to be smart.”

Smith said he thinks McMaster’s views on guns are too radical.

“Henry supports allowing individuals to carry AR-15s openly down the streets in Florence," Smith said. "He thinks we ought to have this constitutional carry. I’ve been in places where everybody’s armed to the teeth, and I promise you, you don’t feel safer.”

Another topic was education and teacher pay.

“I as Governor am going to make sure that we raise teachers' salaries above the Southeastern average, and I can do that, Henry, without a tax increase," Smith said to his opponent.

“We have to help, we have to push, we have to supplement as much as we can," McMaster said. "We have to get those unnecessary tests off those teachers, smaller classes, consolidation. There are a lot of answers, things we can do that do not cost money.”

McMaster stated his experience as Governor will lead to success in the future.

“Since I’ve been in office, I’ve announced 23,000 new jobs, 8 billion dollars in new investment, and we’re just getting started,” McMaster said.

Smith said he will put the people first.

“When I served and led American soldiers in combat, I cared more about their future and their very lives than my own," Smith said. "And we need a governor who cares more about our future than the next primary election.”

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